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arguing against the grover norquist tax pledge. chris gibson says the pledge he signed in 2010 no longer applies since redistricting changed the numbers. he signed as a candidate for new york's 20th congressional district and said moving forward he doesn't plan to re-sign it for the 19th congressional district for which he now represents. okay. the opening bell just rang. let's get right to the market rundown. cnbc's becky quick is here. good morning, becky. >> reporter: good morning, chris. great to see you. we are looking now at the markets just opening and they're opening relatively flat. modest declines for the s&p and nasdaq. modest gains for the dow. that's a surprise today because when you came in this morning you might have expected to see a lot of red arrows. we have been trading almost in lock step with the headlines that have been coming out of washington around the fiscal cliff. when it looks like there is some movement made, when it looks like there's a deal that could be reached, you see the markets go up. when things look bleaker, the markets are going down. that's not the
speak for themselves and just leave it at all. >> grover norquist -- you were talking about leverage and you believe republicans could get more leverage if they got this out of the way, called the white house's bluff, if you will and said, okay, fine, we'll give you this and have the larger debate. he believes the debt ceiling should be used as leverage. is that responsible governing? >> i think the speaker did, in our conference did the right thing last time. we were willing to raise the debt ceiling. that's a tough vote for republicans, but only if it was accompanied by reforms and long-term spending cuts. i actually think that's a good thing and should be institutionized. we should not continue on a course of piling up debt and not try to correct things. i think the speaker did the right thing, pushed for that, and we got it. as a result, we're going to have $2 trillion less in long-term debt thanks to what john mccain did. >> by the way, should there be a debt ceiling? is this sort of a ridiculous thing? >> i don't think it's ridiculous. i think it forces us to confront reality.
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